What Happened to the VR Revolution?

I spent a lot of money on a headset that I’m not using very much anymore.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/what-happened-to-the-vr-revolution
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Waiting to see if Media Molecules Dreams becomes a PSVR title but otherwise nothing enticed me to buy a headset at all.

I’ve only tried a Google Carboard. It was kinda fun for a few minutes, but it made me feel dizzy so I’d have no desire to pay more money on a proper VR system. To me, its kinda like 3D TV. It can be cool, but the hassle more often than not isn’t worth it.

The new project I’m working at the university has just bought a new PC and a Vive and I’m currently coding a solution to look at changes in protein structures in VR. I think even if the games never take off, the market will still be relatively successful because of all the other possible applications in all kinds of industries.

In terms of games, it’s a strange bind: most people don’t want to but the headsets because there isn’t much to play, most companies don’t want to develop for it because there’s no one to buy the games. I don’t see a huge shift until the headsets are significantly cheaper.


Fallout 4 for Vive will be the first truly epic title. You could at least lose hundreds of hours in that one.

Personally Im waiting for a wireless version with 4k in each eye. When I’ve used these things I thought it was awesome but you can see every pixel. You are too close to it for it to be in 1080.


It really comes down to how much are companies want to put into VR for games. Industry wise it booming since it helps with designing but things like video games it needs to be cheaper to make to insure money is made back with the current amount of headsets out there. It going to be slow for VR to be in everyone hands but at least it not dead.

I’d love to try a VR headset somewhere but, as far as I know, no one I know has one and no stores near me have demos available. I never jumped at the Kinect or the Playstation Move, and if I lived without even trying those, then most likely I won’t try VR. Not unless something dramatic changes.

Aside from the obvious cost factor, VR is also difficult to show off in a group setting, which must put a damper on word-of-mouth marketing. It’s hard to imagine a group of people taking turns with a headset; it’s not like it’s a party game like Guitar Hero. The commercials I’ve seen for headsets have similar issues. They mostly show people trying on the gear and going, “whoah,” or some variation. I guess the impulse is to then want to try it out for yourself, but then we’re back to the same problem.

So, basically, I’d absolutely jump at the chance to experience VR somewhere, but it doesn’t seem likely, or easy, anytime soon.

So my brother has a VR headset so I have some, but not much experience with VR, so take that into account.

The issue currently seems to come down to variety of games. Shooting galleries are a ton of fun in VR, that’s for sure, but it’s sort of played one played them all. Obviously some are better than others, like Robo Recall and Superhot VR were both incredible experiences, but there’s a lack of depth to these types of games.

I’d say that’s a pretty big issues as well. Making games is hard, making VR games I’d gather is harder in many aspects so it doesn’t surprise me that many of the games released lack depth. Many VR games are fun for 3-5 hours but then the fun falls off a cliff.

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I have a couple of VR headsets (Rift and PSVR) and the biggest thing keeping me from using them more often (other than the relative lack of software) is that it just takes too much time/effort to set up. Unless you have a dedicated space where you have a permanent VR setup, playing VR is always preceded by a few minutes of connecting headsets and adjusting sensors. It also demands that I be able to literally shut myself off from everything else going on, which means that I have to be in a position where I don’t need to watch my dogs or otherwise pay attention to the outside world for however long I’m in VR. Those are pretty big barriers compared to traditional console/PC gaming. This is to say nothing of the economic barrier to entry, with high-end VR setups costing roughly as much as the device needed to use them.

I’d also say that in terms of software, I don’t know that anyone yet knows what a “real VR game” ought to be. RE7 is pointed to as being a real VR game, but what they actually mean is that it’s what we expect out of a real non-VR game, with added VR support. I don’t know that that’s the same thing.


I got a PSVR last November, and played it pretty steady for a couple of months. Haven’t used it much since, but I certainly haven’t given up on it. I have a copy of Farpoint pre-ordered, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.


The assumption seems to be that a good VR game is one where you play for hours at a time. I don’t think that is a safe assumption.


I agree that VR should not be played for long periods of time in one session. However, I feel it is an issue that many VR games right now don’t offer much reason to return to them outside of the initial first sessions. I don’t think it’d be appropriate for devs to make skinnerbox games in VR for example as those encourage long sessions of play, but like rouge-lites for example would be a great fit for VR. Session-based games that have variety and depth and encourage multiple sessions.

I think if VR wants to thrive as a gaming medium, it needs to start offering games that have more depth and variety than what’s currently on offer. There’s a fine line that needs to met between games that don’t encourage unsafe practices and games that offer the depth needed to be engaging for more than a couple of short sessions.

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Expensive hardware = low install base = no incentive for a company to invest the money required to make a full blown, $60 VR game.

Instead most people just opted to just try and make the quickest buck possible. Here’s a shooting gallery we made!

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I’ve tried VR in like the early 90s or whatever and I tried this more recent wave of stuff. It’s amazing potential but I will never be able to afford it and there’s the chicken and the egg of like, no way I’m dropping over half a grand on a piece of hardware because something interesting might possibly maybe be released for it.

I honestly hope VR dies soon, I don’t need more fragmentation and expensive hardware to buy.

However, beside my selfish and petty reaction to it … the technology is interesting and I get the enthusiasm it generated, but the amount and quality of games for or with VR support is far for an incentive to spend that amount of money. Maybe with the PS4 VR just maybe. Good wishes to you I’m out either way.

Its still too expensive.

I just built a new machine (went from sandy bridge i5 to the latest i7) so that i could even start considering getting one of those headsets, but at this point im waiting for the 2.0 versions. I’m not even that interested in the stand up and walk around VR, i just really want to do some Elite Dangerous and project cars stuff.

I don’t think its DEAD, i just think the amount of folks who can spend 800 bucks on a thing that requires a 1400 dollar thing before hand is very very very small. 300 dollar headsets and half the cables required will go a long long way.


I think that VR is fundamentally different than PC or console games. The decision to use VR is a lot feels more inconvenient than deciding to play a border-based game. It’s not something I do to relax or something I default to; it’s more of an event like going to an arcade or going to a theatre. So I don’t measure the success of VR in my personal life with similar metrics as I would with a game console.
A good example would be the Google Earth app. I don’t use it all the time, but the experiences I’ve had with it feel substantial. Some of it could be described as novelty, but I think that is a bit reductive. The appeal of amusement-parks and art-galleries is largely based on novelty, but I don’t think that really gets to what folks find valuable about them. The few times I’ve used the Google Earth app I’ve felt various intense euphorias such as nostaglia for places I’ve lived and being overwhelmed by the complexity and size of Tokyo. I can get powerful affects from other mediums, and those mediums aren’t any lesser, but having VR available is quite a privilege because it’s a tool that presents digital media borderlessly and with audio and visual depth.
Most of my interest in VR is only game-related rather than games themselves, but it is still game-related. An interesting example of this would be Pinball FX. I already own these tables for bordered screens, but VR allows me to play them in a much more satisfying way (though the table nudge doesn’t work as well in VR). Here I see VR as a game-medium that changes the experience of a game substantially.
Another example would be Medium. It wouldn’t typically be considered a game, but I’m using it to make models for games. I’m not making my point very well, but what I’m basically trying to say is that VR is a complement other digital mediums and a platform for new forms of digital media. Complaints about there not being enough software don’t really ring true for me because I don’t have the same needs out of VR software as I do out of my Steam Library. I am super looking forward to Budget Cuts though. Not because I want a 10-hour game, but because the experience of being stealthy with my body and throwing knives is not something I can get easily in legal ways that are considerate to others.
Also social-VR is an overwhelming mess of potential that is already available from things like AltSpace, Rec Room, and various other places. I’m looking forward to Sansar.

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I don’t think it can be a revolution until it’s much cheaper. For it to be a revolution then it’d need to be widely available and accessible. It can’t be that when it still costs a minimum of €800 to get a VR capable device + headset.


Mm, I think it was always going to be a slow burn. The question is whether the initial wave will continue to invest and work towards a better, cheaper second wave of technology, or whether this is the point where they give up. I feel like there are enough potential non-games applications that this will continue to be an area of interest, but it’ll probably have to turn into something different to what it is right now.

Cost aside, until all of the disadvantages of being glued to a headset can be mitigated, it’s never going to be people’s main way of playing.

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I’m in the same boat on the Rift side. Bought in at launch, spent a lot of time in VR last year, haven’t hooked up my headset in months. Getting a Switch certainly hasn’t helped.

My most memorable experiences in VR have all been socially oriented. I spent most of my time in programs like Altspace and Rec Room. These sorts of experiences have real potential, but they are still very limited by technology. I’m excited to see how permanent digital spaces evolve in the next few years.